Update: 4th Ward Shooting Victim Was City DPW Worker
Friday, October 5, 2012 • 11:38am
PATERSON, NJ - The circumstances surrounding Friday's shooting had a familiar ring to them. A man was walking in a bad neighborhood in the early morning hours when someone shot him. Most folks put those facts together and assume the victim was involved in something illegal. Drugs. Gangs. Who knows?
But the 30-year-old man shot and wounded four times by a bicyclist near the near the corner of Lawrence and Mercer streets at about 5:30 Friday morning was on his way to work at Paterson Department of Public Works garage at E. 16th Street, officials said.
The victim, whose name has not been made public, had started working as a part-time employee in the recycling division in August, according to public works director Christopher Coke. "This wasn't a guy out looking for trouble, he was on his way to work,'' said Coke. "He had a good attitude and he got along well with others.''
The man had had some previous troubles with the law, but has been trying to get his life in order, Coke said. "I feel horrible that a guy who's trying to turn his life around has to go through something like this,'' said Coke. "I think it's just testament to the fact that the past doesn't always allow you to move on.''
Coke said the victim was one of several public works employees whose lives are in transition. The city jobs, he said, are part of the effort to get them on track. "We need more opportunities for people in that situation,'' Coke said.
"A possible motive for the incident is not clear at this time, and Detectives are continuing their investigation,'' said Sgt. Patrick Murray of Paterson's Cease-Fire Unit.
Murray said detectives have not been able to interview the victim in-depth because of his medical condition, so there's no indication whether he knew the gunman.
Authorities are asking anyone with information about the incident to contact the Paterson Police Cease-Fire Unit at 973-321-1342, or the Paterson Police anonymous tips line at 973-523-TIPS.